Based on John Tortorella's morning press conference, he wanted to come in to Madison Square Garden and hand the New York Rangers a severe beating. Unfortunately for him, the Rangers wound up rallying behind Chris Kreider, Rick Nash, and Cam Talbot as they smoked the Vancouver Canucks by a score 5-2. Kreider also recorded his first career hat trick in the win, and really sparked the Rangers offense throughout this game.
Cam Talbot has now won six of his last seven starts, as he continues to provide dominating performances between the pipes for the Rangers. The game wound up starting out with a bang for the Rangers, as they quickly jumped on the Canucks in the offensive zone, and continued to pressure them. The Rangers finally broke through with two goals coming four minutes apart in the later part of the first period.
Chris Kreider wound up picking up both of the goals, one being off of the rush and the other coming off of a deflection in front of the crease on the power play. Rick Nash deserves a ton of credit for the first goal as he quickly dishes off the puck as he's about to take a hit at the blue line. That quick pass wound up finding the stick of Kreider who was breaking down the middle, and he ripped it over the blocker of Roberto Luongo.
Kreider has always been known for his quick release on his wrist shot, and that was put on full display on the first goal. Four minutes later, Kreider wound up finding the back of the net once again and this time it came with the man advantage. Ryan McDonagh made a great play to get the shot through traffic, and Kreider got a stick on the puck just as it was about to make it to Lunogo. Kreider has been on a completely different battle level since being recalled earlier in the year, and it's just amazing to watch.
After the Rangers came out for the second period, they didn't take their foot off of the gas pedal. Just 17 seconds into the second, Rick Nash cashed in on yet another deflection in front of the net. It was yet another big play from Derek Stepan as he found the opening, and found Nash right in front of the net for the tip in. As the period continued to trek on the Rangers wound up going to the power play as Dominic Moore drew Christopher Tanev into a holding penalty.
The Rangers were moving the puck tremendously with the man advantage this afternoon, and that played a large part in their fourth goal. Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard worked the Canucks in the offensive zone with their short chip pass, and the puck eventually made it's way over the Michael Del Zotto. By that point, the Canucks were so thrown off with the amount of passes, Del Zotto had a wide open lane to the net.
He quickly wound up and blasted the puck through the five hole of Eddie Lack, who came in to relieve Luongo earlier on in the second period. With five minutes remaining in the second, the Canucks finally had some life as David Booth chipped in his third goal of the year. The puck wound up taking a few bounces in front of the net, before Booth collected the puck and made a great move to slip the puck past Cam Talbot.
Throughout the entire third period, it appeared as if the Rangers were looking to feed the puck to Kreider all period long. He had come so close to netting his first career hat trick earlier in the period, but he finally got it. Kreider wound up getting a piece of Anton Stralman's point shot, and re-directed the puck past Eddie Lack, and the hats came raining down from Madison Square Garden.
The Canucks would eventually close out the scoring with a power play goal coming from Daniel Sedin in the final three minutes of the game. The Rangers wound up holding onto the 5-2 lead, and came away with a huge two points. For the Rangers, their next game will be Monday night against the Winnipeg Jets as they continue their long home stand.